Tag Archives: growing up

Where the Red Fern Grows

by Wilson Rawls

Conditional Recommendation: An engaging tale of friendship and adventure shared by a boy and his two hound dogs.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback: 249 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (1961)
Genre: Adventure, Animal

Awards: Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (1987), North Dakota Children’s Choice Award (1981). Continue reading


by Wendelin Van Draanen

Unconditional Recommendation: A romantic story of growing up told from two different perspectives that will get you laughing over its lighthearted banter and leave you contented with its wonderful character development and even more wonderful ending.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books (2001)

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Comedy Continue reading

Fifteen (First Love #1)

by Beverly Cleary

Unconditional Recommendation: Fifteen-year-old Jane Purdy experiences first love and along the way learns that being herself is the best person to be.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: First Love #1
Paperback: 203 pages
Publisher: William Marrow and Company, Inc. (1956)
Genre: Romance, Comedy

Award: Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (1958) Continue reading

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Unconditional Recommendation: A story of mystery, transformation and new life for a neglected young girl, her fearful cousin, and an abandoned garden.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback:  358 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (originally published in 1911)

Genre: Classic Continue reading


by E.D.E.N. Southworth

Conditional Recommendation: Ishmael, though born motherless and impoverished, rises above his circumstances through humility, integrity and hard work.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Book 1 of 2
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Lamplighter Publishing (2005; originally published 1876)

Genre: Historical Fiction Continue reading

Cheaper by the Dozen

by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Unconditional Recommendation: A hilarious and endearing collection of stories about efficiency experts, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, and their growing household of twelve children.

Age: All Ages
Series: Stand Alone
Hardcover: 237 pages
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell Company (1948)

Genre: Memoir, Comedy Continue reading